“Japan’s ‘Society 5.0’ Initiative Is a Road Map for Today’s Entrepreneurs”

(Mark Minevich, techcrunch.com, February 2019)

Society 5.0 is  “a purposeful effort to create a new social contract and economic model by fully incorporating the technological innovations of the fourth industrial revolution. (…) Japan wants to create, in its own words, a “super-smart” society, and one that will serve as a road map for the rest of the world.

Components of Society 5.0: infrastructure, finance tech, healthcare, logistics and, artificial intelligence (AI). Expected investments in 2019 in Japan: a) robotics - 87 bill $; b) IoT – up to 6 bill $. Society 5.0 addresses a number of issues such as: 1) partnership between the government and the private sector. While the U.S. is going to invest into AI programs only 2 bill $ over the next 5 years, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan is receiving 1.44 bill $ from the government expecting to grow to 4 bill $ and be functioning, at least, till 2034. So, Japan’s government (like the British and the French ones) teams with the private sector. In 2018, British AI funding received over a 1 bill £ of public and private money. The French AI investment plan includes 1.6 bill $. 2) social issues (aging population, pollution, etc.). Hitachi has been working on creating a human-centered society. 4 major industries the U.S.’s entrepreneurs and technologists should focus on: a) healthcare. Japan has the world biggest percentage of the population over 60 and, consequently, needs more healthcare. According to the U.K.’s report, AI and automation could saмe 10 % of NHS operational expenses. b) Mobility. Rural areas need a better access to transportation, stores, hospitals and community centers. c) Infrastructure. 28 % of major U.S. roads need to be repaired. “If only 10 % of cars in the U.S. became self-driving, those 26 million vehicles would generate 38.4 zettabytes of data annually. “ d) Fintech. Blockchain will advance security and transparency, and prevent fraud. “We must embrace what Japan is creating with Society 5.0, or we will simply become a vestige of the technological past.”

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